Meal Frequency On Fat Loss

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By Brad Schoenfeld, PhD, CSCS, FNSCA

It’s commonly believed that consuming small, frequent meals optimizes fat loss. According to theory, go without eating for more than a few hours and your body shifts into “starvation mode.” Part of the starvation response is to slow down metabolism in an effort to conserve energy. Pretty hard to get lean when your metabolic rate isn’t cooperating. Conceivably, providing your body with a constant stream of nutrients prevents the starvation response by “stoking the metabolic furnace,” thereby enhancing the ability to burn stubborn body fat.

Or so the theory goes…

The Research

Despite a seemingly logical basis, however, the evidence generally doesn’t support metabolic benefits of increased meal frequency. A study in dogs did show that consuming four small meals doubled the thermogenic response compared to eating an energy-equated…

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